Musical instrument company helps creates more diverse workforce
The head of a Baldwin company that makes musical instruments is using his heritage to help his business and create a more diverse workforce.
Manny Alvarez, president of Kolstein Music, says he bought his first violin 17 years ago and it changed his life.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford it, but I was offered a job in the back,” Alvarez says.
The East Rockaway graduate is a first generation American whose parents are Hispanic immigrants from Central and South America.
“Being a Latino is really important to me,” Alvarez says.
He says his family didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but he never considered it to be a disadvantage.
His goal is to give more musical exposure to other Hispanics. Kolstein Music is making impacts as far as a school in Costa Rica.
“The school district had absolutely no financial means to get any instruments,” Alvarez says. “The kids were making instruments out of things they found in the dumpster.”
The company sponsored the entire program and filled their orchestra with instruments.
At the height of the pandemic, Kolstein Music put on the Musicians Relief Fund bringing local artists to the state. They were able to perform virtually for a worldwide audience and raise over $20,000 to help more than 100 artists.
Kolstein Music says many of the talent they have featured in their virtual series and in-person events have been and will continue to be minorities.